Well I went to my Well Woman clinic. I had The opportunity to talk to a woman doctor within my normal surgery practice. (Important for all sorts of reasons!) We went through all my symptoms. This is the update.
1. As a 74 year old woman who had a hysterectomy in 1980 my problem is not unique! (Confidence boost)
2. All the pelvic floor exercises in the world would not have helped my situation and it definitely wasn’t my fault. Perhaps being an avid gardener and an enthusiast DYI didn’t help the situation! My mentality is I can do anything for anybody, hence recently sorting out my ‘younger OAP’ neighbours shed!
3. It happens as we age and everything heads south. My vaginal wall had progressed it’s ‘way ‘out’ and was sitting in the vaginal entrance (which was what I saw and panicked!) so........... she suggested she insert a pessary there and then and ‘see how it goes’ I was happy with that as after a long chat it’s important to get things in perspective and to make sure all angles are investigated before even thinking of surgery, although it might come to that later on down the line.
4. I’m the sort of person who wants all details and possible answers, so a pessary was the first step. She also gave me VAGIFEM to be inserted every night for at least a month, more if needed. She normally initially gave VAGIFEM (to harden up the vagina, and is a sex hormone!!!! As if I needed that!!!!!) before inserting a pessary but decided I was sensible and could cope with a silicon pessary and insert VAGIFEM at the same time!
5. That pessary was ‘too big’ and very uncomfortable and I had a discharge too so after tolerating it for 4 days I had it taken out and a smaller one was inserted. Suffice to say here, that I didn’t know what to expect the pessary would do, so I soldiered on!!! Not the most painless thing! This one was OKsh - I was still very aware of something up inside me and continued to have discomfort when walking, although once it had settled I didn’t feel it when I was sitting down with my feet up. So after a week I had that removed also. We decided I should continue with the VAGIFEM whilst letting everything heal (I was still getting a discharge). A 2 week ‘rest’ from the any further pessaries was agreed.
So where am I now - I’m being careful about position on the loo by keeping knees together (I tended to splay them before!) and I have got the dragging feeling back and the period like tummy aches have returned, but I can still feel (with finger) that the offending bulge has migrated down a bit but it’s managable. I’m still a bit sore around the vaginal entrance but I’m trying to take it easy. I’m seeing her again early December and we will decide whether to try another smaller pessary or start the process of a future operation. Hopefully the VAGIFEM will have been helpful and although it’s a pain having to insert something ‘up there’ every night it’s OK.
I want to avert having an operation, but if I go through all the various stages and they don’t work then I’m having the operation as I don’t want it later on when maybe I won’t be as overall healthy!
One thing I would recommend is that everyone make appointments well in advance with doctors when I’m trying something out. I can always ‘cancel’ if I do t need the appointment but trying to get a well timed one when you want it is getting more difficult, although we do have a ‘walk in’ surgery every morning, so I can always go to that, but having a specific appointment is always best if you want to discuss anything!!!
Sorry it’s so Long!